Being a unorthodox foodie has its advantages, for example, I don’t need to follow any rules and I like to mix weird things together that normally wouldn’t pair well. For instance, classy pasta seafood meals with Major League Baseball—an unlikely combination that recently uncovered for me quite hearty results.
My friend Nicky is quite the cook and has been teasing me with the promise of Tunisian Harissa pasta for the past few months. Due to our dual PR lady careers, we’ve been typically too busy to get together and the only time that was a possibility for us (before the pasta went stale in her cupboard) was a night last week when she was committed to be home to watch her Philadelphia Phillies play an important game of the year.
Now, I am completely sports illiterate and sports on television has mostly always meant to me the background soundtrack to a feeling of childhood comfort when you know that your parents’ friends are all around the house, chilling and drinking beer and cursing at the television with tons of patties and weiners cooking somewhere on a grill. Nicky on the other hand is a Phillies freak and basically guaranteed me that if I was coming over for pasta, I would have to endure her own testosterone-emulated hoots and hollers at the screen.
I have to say there was something quite apt about the combination of the thick strips of spicy pasta, lovely carmelized shrimp, biting red wine and the stadium-worthy guttural screams emanating from my pint-sized friend in her cap and tee every time one of those cute boys in the white pants from the wrong team ran across the screen missing a home run ball hit by one her favorite team’s players.
Jersey Girl MLB Pasta
1 pound Pappardelle's brand of Tunisian Harissa pasta
4 tablespoons extra virgin or extra light olive oil
Several handfuls of crimini mushrooms
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 pound of Trader Joe's Argentinian red shrimp
Saute mushrooms in olive oil until semi-tender.
Add shrimp and garlic (let simmer for 20-25 minutes).
Cook pasta to al dente, then gently stir in with remaining ingredients.
Top with cayenne pepper, cracked black pepper, salt and grated parmesan to taste.
Serve with an organic 2008 Monastrell from the Jumilla region of Spain.